Principle 3 - Context and setting

The Interpretation of cultural heritage sites should relate to their wider social, cultural, historical, and natural contexts and settings.

3.1  Interpretation should explore the significance of a site in its multi-faceted historical, social, political, spiritual, and artistic contexts. It should consider all aspects of the site’s cultural and environmental significance.

3.2 The contributions of all periods to the significance of a site should be respected.  Although particular eras and themes may be highlighted, all periods of the site’s history as well as its contemporary context and significance should be considered in the interpretation process.

3.3  Interpretation should also take into account the cultural contributions of all communities associated with the site, including minority groups.

3.4  The surrounding landscape, natural environment, and geographical setting are all integral parts of a site’s historical and cultural significance, and, as such, should be taken into account in its interpretation.

3.5  Intangible elements of a site’s heritage such as cultural and spiritual traditions, stories, music, dance, theater, literature, visual arts, personal customs and cuisine should be noted and included in its interpretation.

3.6  The cross-cultural significance of heritage sites, as well as co-existing or contested viewpoints, should become part of the interpretation, providing outside visitors as well as local residents and associated communities with a sense of personal connection.